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Tai Chi

Discussion in 'Alternative Therapies' started by Rafael, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. Rafael

    Rafael XMRV+ Member

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    Ontario, Canada
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/19/health/19taichi.html?_r=1&src=me&ref=health

    "A clinical trial at Tufts Medical Center found that after 12 weeks of tai chi, patients with fibromyalgia, a chronic pain condition, did significantly better in measurements of pain, fatigue, physical functioning, sleeplessness and depression than a comparable group given stretching exercises and wellness education. Tai chi patients were also more likely to sustain improvement three months later."

    Personally I found Tai Chi has helped me regain energy surprisingly well.

    My afterthought theory: there is something special about the slow continuous muscle and myofascial(sp?) stretching that helps pain and mitochondrial function. The 100% concentration needed to learn moves, to stay in synch with those around you, is naturally meditative and like learning a new language for brain cell development. [Since I now sound like a salesman let me add: I have zero vested interest in promoting Tai Chi].

    I don't have ANY sensitive Fibro points but like a number of PWME I do have all kinds of other weird neurological pains.
     
  2. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

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    London
    Ouch, Thai chi made me much worse.

    I've got ME (XMRV+) and also Fibromyalgia with painful points and hypermobile joints.

    The Thai Chi resulted in ME post exertional symptoms and then flared up the FM pain.

    I guess it's down to subgroups again.
     
  3. Mark

    Mark Acting CEO

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    Sofa, UK
    I would say Tai Chi varies enormously in approach, I have been to one teacher who was teaching it as a martial art, very physical, and another where it was 50% focused on various types of meditation, and I found the emphasis on minimal movement and restraint very helpful in terms of 'pacing' and not trying too hard. Prior to that teacher I had been pushing myself too hard when exercising, his philosophy was kind of to push yourself the tiniest amount that you could detect, and then relax, so it makes sense that was a helpful approach for me.

    One theory around PEM that seems to make sense is that anything that works the muscles is going to create conditions under which XMRV can thrive - can't now recall the exact details of how the cortisol levels overnight come into it, but I think it's during the recovery period overnight when your body is still responding to the exercise...that thing about running a marathon in your sleep...so I suspect that anything that works your muscles is going to risk triggering XMRV growth - and anything that works your muscles can trigger PEM.

    Tai Chi does work your muscles, just in a very different way to other forms of exercise. The very slow movements actually require harder work by more muscle groups compared to more aggressive forms of exercise. So it can be deceptive how much you are working your muscles sometimes, and I'm not surprised it can lead to PEM just as I'm not surprised it can be very helpful to others. It's all a question of exactly what you do and how, I suspect - the philosophy of the teacher - and of course viral loads of XMRV and related MLVs probably do vary...

    Although...ukxmrv, if you did Thai chi rather than Tai Chi, that might explain the difference. Don't know what Thai Chi is...:D
     
  4. Rafael

    Rafael XMRV+ Member

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    Ontario, Canada
    I too think its approach more than subgroups. I gave no context to my experience.
    My primary & worst symptom has always been PEM
    Tai Chi helped me but my context was that I had already found my floor, my baseline.... after years of falling and struggling.
    The school of hard knocks had ingrained the knowledge that I could never ever do more than 1% more exertion than days before. That was my percent - everyone's different - if I tried 2% for a few days I always crashed and lost at least a week.
    I was encouraged that 1% gain times 3 months is roughly a doubling. 12 months could be 16-fold increase. And thats roughly what happened.
    I started Tai Chi in a special health recovery class, where there was no pressure to over-reach. I was one of the ones in a power chair doing the seated version when I started.
    The Tai Chi coincided with the hockey-stick part of my graph where I started improving at a faster rate than 1% a day.
    I don't mean to imply anything scientific about my experience, or that that some other activity wouldn't have accomplished same.
     

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